John D Shaw
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Status and Trends of Aspen in the Interior West: A View from Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA)
John D Shaw, USDA Forest Service, Ogden, UT
The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, which is national program maintained by the USDA Forest Service, is designed to monitor the status and trends of all forested lands in the U.S., regardless of ownership. The Interior West FIA unit (IW-FIA) has responsibility for the FIA program in eight western states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) and therefore covers most of the aspen acreage in the West. During the 1980s and 1990s, IW-FIA conducted a series of periodic inventories within the eight states. These inventories covered most of the states using a systematic grid, over a period of a few years. Starting in 2000, FIA implemented an annual inventory system, in which a fraction of the entire sample grid is visited each year. While the periodic inventories provided a baseline, the annual system added new opportunities for analysis, including the ability to monitor year-to-year trends over large geographic scales. Although the annual inventory system is not yet fully implemented, the data obtained to date have enabled unique insights into forest change over a short period of time. Impacts from drought, insects, and disease have been described for pinyon-juniper and other forest types. Analysis of change in the aspen forest type, as well as other types that include an aspen component, is ongoing. In this presentation we will describe the IW-FIA program and data, and provide an overview of results from analyses that have been done on aspen forests.